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01-05-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2007

Patterns of Middle School Adjustment and Ninth Grade Adaptation of Rural African American Youth: Grades and Substance Use

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2007
Auteurs:
David B. Estell, Thomas W. Farmer, Matthew J. Irvin, Jana H. Thompson, Bryan C. Hutchins, Erin M. McDonough
Belangrijke opmerkingen
David B. Estell is an assistant professor of educational psychology at Indiana University Bloomington. He received his PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His major research interests include peer relations and the development of aggression.
Thomas W. Farmer is an associate professor of education at Pennsylvania State University and director of the National Research Center on Rural Education Support. He received his PhD in Special Education from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His major research interests include peer relations and the development of aggression in students with and without special needs.
Matthew J. Irvin is a research scientist at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His major research interests include resilience and student engagement.
Jana H. Thompson is a research associate at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include peer social relations and developmental transitions into early adolescence.
Bryan C. Hutchins is a research assistant at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a graduate student in the Educational Psychology, Measurement, and Evaluation Program at UNC. His research interests include child and adolescent social development and school based emotional and behavioral interventions and prevention programs.
Erin M. McDonough is currently a doctoral candidate in School Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Emory University. As a research assistant at the Center for Developmental Science, she has been able to explore her interests in student achievement as well as rural education. Another major research interest of hers is school-based mental health.

Abstract

The transition to high school has been identified as a potentially difficult time in adolescents’ lives. Reductions in both academic and social functioning often accompany this transition. While these effects have been documented in urban youth, the move to high school has not been extensively studied in rural minority youth. Toward that end, the academic grades and substance use in ninth grade of 447 (184 male and 263 female) African-American adolescents from two rural counties in a state in the deep South were examined in relation to configurations of adaptation from sixth through eighth grade. Results indicate that individual with consistently positive patterns across middle school had higher grades and lower rates of substance use compared to individuals with persistent difficulties or those that transitioned to problem behavior. Many individuals who improved in their patterns of adaptation had relatively high grades, but also rather high rates of substance use in the ninth grade.

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